REVIEW: CHAOS – “All Against All”
Indian thrash metal band Chaos has had a somewhat successful career over the last decade or so, despite first forming as a band all the way back in 2005. ‘All Against All’, their second full-length studio release, comes four years after their debut record ‘Violent Redemption’, and is scheduled to be released via Transcending Obscurity India on June 10th 2017. And with that, the review can now begin…
The album opens with its first track entitled “The Great Divide”. Some thrash records take a little while to really get going in their opening moments, but the introductory song of ‘All Against All’ adopts an entirely different approach. Flying out of the gates like an aggressive bull, “The Great Divide” includes various tempos throughout its approximately 2-minute duration, making for an impressive start to the proceedings.
The next few songs on the album ‘All Against All’ hold up equally as well as “The Great Divide” that came before them. For instance, “The Inevitable Genocide” just screams typical thrash, albeit in a brilliantly written as well as recorded fashion. Everything you could want in a ferociously furious heavy metal composition is represented here: pissed-off vocals, loud screeching guitar and a backbeat rhythm section to bring everything together nicely. Furthermore, the tracks “All Against All” and “Indoctrination” vary somewhat – the former of the two follows a familiar musical pattern to the stereotypical thrash template, while “Indoctrination” contains vocal lines barked out of the speakers by lead vocalist JK that follow a routine easy enough for the listener to bang their head or pump their fist. A special shout-out on this song in particular has to go to guitarist Nikhil N R as well for a blindingly good guitar solo.
Going further and further into the album at this point, with the next track “Death to the Elite” – a name for a song that some would consider somewhat appropriate given the political climate in certain parts of the world at the time that this album was being recorded and subsequently released. The track itself contains a mammoth sounding opening riff that is bound to impress any thrash fan at first. This is definitely one of my favourites on the record so far.
“The Enemy” carries things on, but with a noticeably more technical sounding guitar tone than what has been heard so far on ‘All Against All’. In addition to this, the vocal delivery has also been modified so that each syllable is ferociously barked out of the speakers in a particularly nihilistic display of anger. Its following tracks, “Patrons of Pain” and “Asylum”, manage to do a variety of things both similar and different. For example, “Patrons of Pain” right from the very beginning appears to be a track that places the complex rhythms and pounding instrumentation of the band’s drummer Manu Krishnan right at the forefront of the music, which is nice as thrash is often a genre where the white-hot guitars are often considered the main musical instrument. And just what I said about the guitars being the primary tool when it comes to thrash metal musicality is the backbone of “Asylum” – the best guitar riff so far on the album paves the way for one of the record’s highlight tracks, and for my money perhaps the best song on the album. I say this in quite a few of my reviews, but how good is it when bands continue to impress with tracks that have been placed so far towards the conclusion of their records?
There is only a couple of songs left to go over at this point, when it comes to ‘All Against All’ by Chaos. The first of those two is “Portrait in Blood” with its undeniably brooding and atmospheric opening moments before launching like a bullet straight into the heart of conventional thrashing power. You can really hear JK’s vocal cords being shredded on this track in particular. The album’s closing song, “The Escape” marks the end of the record by purely being a beautiful instrumental composition that blends the melodies of its guitars together in an almost Pink Floyd-like fashion (a comparison that of course I do not make lightly).
To conclude, ‘All Against All’ by Chaos is a decent thrash metal effort, which will most likely please seasoned fans of the genre as opposed to being something with the power to convert new fans into this specific style of heavy music. Nonetheless, if you fancy paying attention to a record that will undoubtedly go under the radars of many in 2017, this album is a good place to start.